Students learn the meaning of preservation and conservation and identify themselves and others as preservationists or conservationists in relation to specific environmental issues. They use Venn diagrams to clarify the similarities and differences in viewpoints. They see how an environmental point-of-view affects the approach to an engineering problem.
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- Arizona: Science
- • Venn diagram (Grade 4)  ...show
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association: Technology
- F. Decisions to develop and use technologies often put environmental and economic concerns in direct competition with one another. (Grades 6 - 8)  ...show
- L. Decisions regarding the implementation of technologies involve the weighing of trade-offs between predicted positive and negative effects on the environment. (Grades 9 - 12)  ...show
- Next Generation Science Standards: Science
- Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. (Grades 3 - 5)  ...show
- Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment. (Grade 5)  ...show
- Understand the definitions of preservation and conservation.
- Identify themselves and others as conservationists or preservationists.
- Compare and contrast different views of people.
- Use Venn diagrams to organize their thoughts on what is different and alike between issues, viewpoints or other things.
- printout of the attached Muir and Pinchot: Respecting Each Other's Differences article
- overhead transparency of the attached Venn Diagram Template
Before the Lesson
- Print out the (attached) Muir Pinchot article to read aloud to students.
- Make an overhead copy of the (attached) Venn Diagram Template.
- If you have not already used or discussed the use of Venn diagrams before, you may want to introduce students to how one works before the activity. For a review, see http://www.venndiagram.com.
With the Students
- Research the meanings of the words: conserve, preserve, conservationist and preservationist. Assign each term to a team of students, and have them look the term up on the internet or in the dictionary. Have each team report their findings to the rest of the class.
- Suggest a currently "hot" environmental issue or select an issue from one of the previous activities associated with Lesson 2 of the Environment unit or come up with a new one. Ask students to define themselves as either a conservationist or a preservationist in relation to this issue.
- Give students five minutes to think about their own views. Then invite some students to share their ideas and how they view themselves.
- Discuss what key phrases and/or terms help someone identify conservationist and preservationist viewpoints. (For example, preservationists sometimes include the words "preserve, keep the same, preservation, protect, no intrusion, respect, etc." in their speech. Conservationists sometimes include the words "conservation, conserve, use/manage wisely, etc." when they describe their points-of-view.)
- Read aloud the Muir and Pinchot article.
- Discuss what two views the men have in common. What makes them different?
- Display the overhead of the Venn Diagram Template. As a class, make a Venn diagram of the similarities and differences of Muir and Pinchot's views.
- If time permits, make another Venn diagram, this time for conservationists and preservationists in general (or assign this as homework).
- Discuss the possibility of being a preservationist and conservationist at the same time. Is it even possible? (Answer: It is possible to be a preservationist in terms of some issues and a conservationist in terms of others, but it is not possible to have both opinions about the same issue.)
- Are you an environmentalist? An environmentalist is a person who cares about the earth and our environment. If so, you may be able to call yourself a preservationist or a conservationist. Have you ever heard the words preserve or conserve? What do they mean?
- Investigate the meanings of the words: conserve, preserve, conservationist and preservationist. Assign each term to a team of students, and have them look the term up on the internet or in the dictionary. Have each team report their findings to the rest of the class.
Activity Embedded Assessment
- Gather some articles that discuss environmental issues. Or, assign the students to bring in environmental articles a few days before the activity.
- Have students review a couple of articles in teams of 2-3. Have them work together to identify whose opinion (conservationist, preservationist, both, other) is presented in each article. Have them think of other opinions related to the issue. What is different about the opinions? Do they have anything in common?
- Have each team present their findings to the rest of the class.
- Example topics might include: water pollution, air pollution, deforestation, wetlands, etc.
Chandler, Pauline. Environmental Issues (Hand-On Minds-On Science Series): Intermediate, Westminster, California: Teacher Created Materials, Inc., 1994.
Sakamoto Steidl, Kim. Environmental Portraits – People Making a Difference for the Environment, Boulder, CO: Good Apple, Inc., 1993.
Amy Kolenbrander, Jessica Todd, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Janet Yowell
© 2005 by Regents of the University of Colorado.
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Last modified: February 8, 2016